The man in charge of unwinding Bernie Madoff's massive Ponzi Scheme appeared on 60 Minutes last night, in one of his first major public appearances. (Scroll down to watch the segment)
Sitting down with Morley Safer, Irving Picard and his chief counsel David Sheehan focused squarely on Madoff's two sons, Mark and Andrew. In a segment ominously called "The Liquidator," Picard said Madoff's sons used the company accounts like their "personal piggy bank" and took home over $80 million in compensation from the Madoff scam over the last seven years. In total, Picard and Sheehan are looking to recover $198 million in compensation and loans given to Madoff's sons over the years.
Mark and Andrew Madoff, for their part, are actually maintaining that they're owed $90 million from their father's failed company.
Here's CBS News:
Asked if the brother and sons did know, Sheehan said, "My belief is, yes, they knew. And the reason I believe that is they were officers of this, of these companies, and directors in certain instances as well, and also compliance officers in a very highly regulated environment. So, I think clearly they would have to have known what was going on given their own personal transactions, the longevity of what was happening, and the responsibilities as officers of the company."
Madoff's sons and brother also had accounts with Bernie, and their returns were simply spectacular. "There's sort of an extraordinary event with Peter, his brother. After 1995, we only see him putting $14 in and he took out over $16 million. We have to take a hard look at that," Sheehan explained.
And there's Mark and Andrew Madoff, who Picard says withdrew over $35 million from accounts that were opened with little or no original investment.
"If they turn out to be untouchable criminally, do you intend to bankrupt them civilly?" Safer asked Picard.
"Whether or not they have a criminal problem, we will pursue them as far as we can pursue them. And if that leads to bankrupting them, then that's what will happen," he replied.